‘Golfing is not for all’: Youth group, social media weigh in on UP Golf Club

October 16, 2023 - 4:20 PM
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A photo of a gathering of members of the UP Golf Club (UP Golf Club/Facebook)

“Golf is not giving.”

This is what a youth group said in response to the online issue surrounding the new student golf club at the University of the Philippines (UP).

UP Golf Club, a student organization dedicated to learning golf, gained buzz online for its hashtag “wag niyo po kami nakawan sa campus” on Facebook. Pictures of the members also accompanied the post.

Based on its Edit History, the original post was uploaded last Friday, October 13 at 8 p.m. It garnered 49 reactions at that time.

Screenshot of a post from the UP Golf Club Facebook page with a hashtag “wag niyo po kami nakawan sa campus”

This version has since been edited. The hashtags that remained are “golf is for all,” “UP golf” and “UP Golf Club.”

“What a fun day! #golfisforall,” the post reads.

“Thank you to all the experienced and first-time golfers we met for being a part of this wonderful event. We look forward to playing with you again in the future. If you are interested in learning and playing the sport of golf, contact our page to get started!” it added.

This posting has since garnered 11,000 reactions, 828 comments and 3,700 comments on Facebook.

Talks about UP Diliman’s student golf club have also reached the X app and the forum r/Philippines on Red

It should be noted that the gathering, which resulted in controversy, was held at the Royal Ace Driving Range in Quezon City and not inside the UP Diliman campus.

‘Golf is not for all’

In a statement on October 14, the National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates (NNARA) – Youth UP Diliman expressed its disagreement with the golf club’s slogan that “golfing is for all.”

While acknowledging the right to create and join organizations, NNARA listed its views on why “golf is not giving” and how it brings more harm than good.

  • Golfing is not for all if it results in displacement amid the backdrop of widespread peasant landlessness and urban homelessness.
  • Golfing is not for all if it does more harm than good to the environment.
  • Golfing is not for all if it perpetuates wage slavery of hardworking Filipinos.

NNARA then called on the members of UP Golf Club to “integrate with the basic masses” to gain perspectives on their plight.

“Integrating with the peasant masses and marginalized communities will provide a firsthand perspective on the struggles faced by the landless farmers, the environmental challenges brought about by water-intensive facilities, and the hardships experienced by workers,” the youth group said.

“Lastly, we stand that iskolars ng bayan should ensure that our education serves the toiling masses. It is our duty to repay our education funded by the hardworking Filipinos by serving the people,” it added.

Other criticisms and perspectives

Some social media users expressed ire at the now-deleted hashtag “wag niyo kaming nakawan.”

They also discussed the changing demographics of UP, citing the institution as a state university.

“The day we tolerate the founding of a UP Golf Club, which jokes that their fellow UP students will steal from them, is the same day that we wholeheartedly accept the changing demographics in UP,” an X user said.

“Bakit may UP Golf Club? GOLF CLUB IN A STATE UNIVERSITY? And the way they brand their fellow students as ‘magnanakaw,’” another X user reacted.

“I feel like the more pressing issue about that up golf club narrative is that for a university that’s supposed to and swore on ‘catering more students from poor families’, the rise of clubs such as that golf one just proves that they failed and is failing on their promise,” an X user shared.

UP is declared a national university by virtue of Republic Act 9500 or the University of the Philippines Charter of 2008. It was signed in May 2008.

Some Redditors, meanwhile, pointed out the hefty costs required to play golf in general.

“Golf is really a game for the upper class. Clubs, shoes, club membership (unless hiniram). And golf courses are not environmentally friendly. Aksaya sa space at tubig,” a Redditor said.

“Golf courses take up a huge amount of space and cost tons of money to maintain, they’re controversial to build even in the US. A playground for the wealthy just like racetracks and horse stables,” another Redditor said.